Friday is last day to participate in Holiday Help

It's the last week to help.

This Christmas season, Ledger-Enquirer readers have picked up more than 105 Holiday Help letters to assist those in need.

That's the good news. The other side of the coin is that more than 200 letters -- and they are coming in every day -- are still available in the Ledger-Enquirer's lobby.

The premise of our Holiday Help program is simple: People in need write letters describing their plight, and people are able to help choose letters and then help the people in need. To select a letter, stop by our lobby at 17 W. 12th St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through this Friday, Dec. 21.

Friday will be the last day to pick up or drop off a letter.

If you're interested in participating in Holiday Help this year, here are some tips for making the experience worthwhile:

Take your time going through the letters. Look for details like children's names and ages and clothing sizes.

Have in mind how much you're willing to spend. It's relatively inexpensive to buy groceries for a widow, but more costly to purchase Christmas for a family with five children or pay off someone's utility bills. Then find a letter than fits your budget.

Consider asking your friends to help, especially if you want to help a large family. When you invite others to help, you're splitting the costs but you're also sharing the satisfaction that comes from helping someone in need.

Follow up with a phone call -- the letters should contain a phone number. Always call before you make any purchases, and say that you're considering helping but first want to ask a few questions.

Make sure you get directions and find out when they will be home. Also, try to go in the daytime. This is a rewarding way to help others.